Back to Back Posts – Learning to Feel Again

How to start this post so that it makes sense to people, I am not quite sure. Over the past few years I have learned a lot about myself. Because of various events in my life I learned to compartmentalize my emotions, down to the point that I never felt things 100%, if I felt them at all (sounds a bit scary writing that down). I planned for emotional events and tried to tell myself how much I would “let” myself feel. Now let me tell you, you really can’t plan to be happy 23% if one thing happens and 55% if something else occurred. No I didn’t plan my emotional responses down to a percentage, but it amuses me to think of it that way. One thing that happened to me lots in planning my emotional responses was multiple backfires due to poor planning. My best friends in my emotional drawers were anger, anxiety and sadness. They would come out of nowhere and take control because I didn’t plan correctly. It is kind of scary for me to look back at that time and realize that I never 100% felt things. Until recently I realized that I have lived most of my life numb, not feeling. This doesn’t mean that I was a horrible person, it just meant at that time in my life I did not have the necessary skills to process my emotions or even deal with them. The biggest items on the agenda for me, the two rules that I lived by – don’t get hurt and don’t hurt other people. To break those two rules meant chaos in my life. To not plan a correct emotional response also meant chaos. So guess what, things were pretty chaotic for most of my life. Kind of puts the comment “you always choose the most complicated ways to do things” in perspective. I didn’t choose the most complicated ways to do things, I just didn’t judge my emotional responses correctly. Show me a person who can.¬†

Fast forward to the present day. Well I sure the hell can feel things now. Thanks to a few pretty awesome people in my life. Is feeling things all the way good all the time. No way. It is scary for me, because I can feel hurt and pain stronger than I ever did before. But I also can feel moments of pure happiness, joy, contentment and all the other positive emotions. When I laugh now it comes from my soul and the same when I smile. It is as thought I am living a completely different life. My good old friend anxiety is still around but I am learning to not let it run the show but to instead observe it and try to figure out past patterns that are causes it to throw a tantrum.

I feel like I received a second chance to truly live and I am pretty thankful for it. As much as things are rough right now I wouldn’t change them for anything because I know what true laughter and happiness is. I refuse to miss out on the chance to experience those.

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